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Holocaust Survivor Canceled For Supporting Palestinians

Mehdi speaks to Rene Lichtman, who was removed from the speaker list at a Detroit area Holocaust museum after he protested the Gaza war

In December, a Holocaust museum in the Detroit area removed an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor from its speaker list because he was found protesting Israel’s war in Gaza. That man, Rene Lichtman, joined Mehdi for a special interview this week, to talk about what happened to him, what he makes of it all, and how the meaning of “Never Again” for anyone includes Palestinians in Gaza.

“I've been warned in the past about that – stick to your story and don't mention contemporary issues. Now, today, you can't do that because the audience will say, ‘well, wait a minute, you guys are mentioning the Holocaust, but we have another Holocaust today. We’ve got another genocide,’” Lichtman told Mehdi. 

“They’re using, in a cynical way, the Holocaust to protect themselves,” he said, when asked about Israeli leaders and pro-Israeli politicians invoking the Holocaust as a way of defending Israel’s war in Gaza. He also called Biden a hypocrite and talked about who he thinks the real anti-Semites are. 

Lichtman was removed from the Survivor Talk Sundays series at The Zekelman Holocaust Center in the Detroit area, despite speaking there for at least 10 years. 

Watch the interview above to hear his full story.